Coach to link up with Premier League new-boys
Exeter City’s under-18 coach Kevin Nicholson will be leaving the club this summer, in order to take up a new role with Premier League newcomers Cardiff City.
His new position in the South Wales set-up will see him become head coach for the under-17s to under-21s, as well as managing the Bluebirds’ under-18 team.
Kevin, pictured centre amongst the under-18 squad photograph, joined the Grecians last October, having previously spent six years coaching at Derby County – where he had also represented the Rams in their Centre of Excellence as a youngster, before first moving into coaching with Stoke City. He is one of just 16 coaches in the country to have been selected by the FA to undertake their pilot Elite Coaches Award course – the first Level 5 qualification to be aimed specifically at coaches.
He worked with the Grecians’ under-18 side – which included Matt Grimes and Christy Pym, who recently signed papers as first-team players – and helped the youngsters develop their abilities as footballers, to prepare them for their careers ahead.
And now Kevin follows in the footsteps of several other members of staff that have developed behind the scenes and moved on to pastures new. Kevin’s predecessor at the Grecians, Kwame Ampadu, now works with the Academy at Arsenal, and Dave Lee joined the New York Red Bulls in the emergent Major League Soccer to work as a performance analyst. Tom Rogers, who was Exeter’s first youth physio, was also taken on by Swansea City in an equivalent role.
While admitting that he was looking forward to taking on a role at a Premier League outfit, he was keen to stress that it would be difficult to leave Exeter City, where he has made a lot of friends during his time with the club.
Kevin said: “I’m delighted to have been given the opportunity to join a club the size of Cardiff City and to take on a very important role within their Academy. I’m excited by the prospect of the challenge and looking forward to getting started.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Exeter City – it’s a wonderful club, full of excellent people. It’s been a valuable experience for me and one in which I’ve learnt a lot. I’m sure that will stand me in good stead for my next challenge at Cardiff.
“I’m also sad to be leaving, because I’ve built up very good relationships with everyone at the club, including Steve Perryman and Paul Tisdale. I’ve had an excellent working-relationship in the Academy with Simon Hayward and I’ve really enjoyed working with the players. Everyone has been fantastic with me during my time here.
“Exeter took a chance on me back in October, when there was no other club prepared to do so at that time. I will always be very grateful to this football club and the people at the club for giving me that opportunity.
“Even though it’s only been for a short period of time, I feel privileged to have been part of this club.”
He leaves the club with the congratulations and best wishes of everyone at Exeter City.